Monday, March 12, 2012

Two Corner Brook events celebrate the history of basketmaking

In Newfoundland and Labrador traditionally-made baskets came in many shapes, sizes and styles and can be crafted from a variety of materials. On the west coast, traditions included Acadian and Mi’kmaw style root baskets, and the popular mill lunch baskets.

“Baskets once served a very utilitarian role in the province, used for carrying items such as fish, potatoes, eggs and berries,” says Dale Jarvis, a folklorist with the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador (HFNL). “Mill lunch baskets were once so popular nearly every pulp and paper mill worker in Newfoundland used one to bring hot meals to work.”

To celebrate that history, the Heritage Foundation is organising a series of events around the tradition of basket making in Newfoundland.

On Saturday, March 17th, at Grenfell College in Corner Brook, HFNL will be hosting a special talk and presentation on Mi'kmaw and Acadian spruce root and ash baskets, with local and visiting experts, including Mi’kmaw elders Margaret Pelletier and Della Maguire, traditional ash basket makers from Nova Scotia. The talk will take place from 7-9pm in the Arts and Science building, Room 379, Grenfell College.

On Sunday, March 18th from 1-3pm at the Glynmill Inn, Corner Brook and Sunday, HFNL will be hosting an event called “Tea ‘n’ Baskets”. This event is an opportunity for those who still have mill lunch baskets to come out and show your basket and share your memories. Bring your basket, we’ll provide the refreshments! HFNL staff will be on hand to photograph mill baskets, to become part of an educational website.

HFNL’s Intangible Cultural Heritage program was created to celebrate, record, and promote our living heritage and help to build bridges between diverse cultural groups within and outside Newfoundland and Labrador.

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